Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Black Swan foods

I am in New Orleans in the State of Louisiana in the USA to attend a conference on service-learning research.  At the end of the first day, we sat down at the Social Work Department in Tulane University to a meal catered by the Black Swan.  

The food is good.  The chicken and sausage gumbo has intense and pleasing favour.  The spinach salad is fresh and crispy.  The apple crumple is just the way I like it - soft but firm apples and crispy crumples.  

The Black Swan is a social enterprise.  Towards the end of the dinner, Nikki, the young Black lady chef, and her partner, Shana, sat down to tell us their story.  

Nikki used to be the only Black and the only female in the kitchen when she worked in restaurants earlier.  The only other brown or black employees in the restaurants were dish washers and cleaners. Even though Cajun food traces its roots to the black women in the kitchen, the restaurant business is in the hands of white men.  Nikki and Shana set up Black Swan to provide a chance for themselves and other coloured women.  

After dinner, our whole gang helped to put away the dishes, pack the left-over, and move everything to the Black Swan truck.  

Universities should provide an opportunity for social enterprises such as these.  

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